Cooking Crew Asset Alignment

What are the resources needed to run cooking crew?

  • People (coordination and mentorship)
  • Materials (supplies and food)
  • Space (storage and implementation)

The cooking crew model can support the engagement and feeding of many, many people. The limiting factors are the size of the need and the ability to align assets to procure the resources to match the need.


“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effecively have preveailed.”

Charles Darwin

The success of Cooking Crew is built upon authentic, mutually beneficial partnerships between children and adults. All of the below oversight roles could be occupied by a teacher, site director/principal or other admin staff, parent, responsible student (or team of students), or highly committed intern or volunteer. In particular, Cooking Crew provides a meaningful opportunity for parents and community members (especially professional or amateur cooks/chefs, artists, journalists, photographers or athletes). College, graduate, and mature high-school students are also ideal Cooking Crew mentors.

  • Cooking Crew Coordinator (essential): The Coordinator is responsible for the staffing/training of Cooking Crew adult mentors, the oversight of space set-up and supply/ingredient procurement, storage, and waste management. The Coordinator organizes Cooking Crew teams, reviews recipes and oversees point system.
  • Chef Mentor (essential): Each Cooking Crew team has at least 1 Chef Mentor (CM). The CM is responsible for overseeing his/her team’s implementation of the cooking crew model with fidelity and quality. The CM does not lead, but actively guides, supports, and motivates students to take ownership and leadership of the various tasks involved in cooking crew. The CM pays particularly close attention to all tasks involving knives and fire. At the end of coking crew, the CM assigns a point score for each student’s participation, which translates into Mastery Pins.
  • Chef Support (optional- priority 1): The Chef Support (CS) is passionate about food, an experienced home or professional cook, and possesses advanced culinary wisdom and skill. The CS floats around the kitchen to provide guidance to as teams prepare their recipes and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all dishes are prepared with a high degree of technical skill, are presented beautifully, and taste amazing.
  • Artist Mentor (optional- priority 2): The Arist Mentor (AM) works with students to integrate art into the cooking crew experience. Art projects include (but are not limited to) creating menu signs, sculptural centerpieces, culinary illustrations, and apron/hat decorations. The AM and Journalist Mentor work together to facilitate recipe creation and service training.
  • Fitness Mentor (optional- priority 3): The Fitness Mentor (FM) oversees the fitness zone where students earn points for the demonstration of sustained physical activity. The FM role models and teaches students proper exercise techniques.
  • Journalist Mentor (optional- priority 3): The Journalist Mentor (JM) works with students to write reviews/poetry/reflections, conduct interviews, and create blogs inspired by cooking crew and food in general. The JM and AM work together to facilitate recipe creation and service training.
  • Media Mentor (optional- priority 4): The Media Mentor (MM) works to mentor students in the documentation of Cooking Crew activities through photo and video. The MM coordinates with the AM and JM to create the Cookbook Scoreboard.


“A sustainable world means working together to create prosperity for all.” Jacqueline Novogratz

Student recipe creators follow a framework in Cooking Crew to design recipes that begins with selecting ingredients that are seasonal. The goal of cooking crew is to use the best available ingredients possible, especially locally grown, freshly harvested produce. The pilot Cooking Crew at Comegys Elementary benefits from a partnership with Bartram’s Community Farm which is less than a mile away from the school. One of the Cooking Crew adult volunteers picks up the produce from the farm on his way to cook at Comegys. Students are provided with the harvest list for Bartram’s so when they are selecting recipes, they make sure to include foods that will be available. In the Cookbook Scoreboard, a newsletter that is printed for Comegys students and parents each week, we include information about the Bartram’s Farm Stand. This marketing in exchange for produce is a mutually beneficial partnership for Comegys and Bartram’s.

The Cooking Crew – Community Garden food sharing partnership depends on clear and reliable communication. The ability to communicate harvest lists, recipe needs, and pick-up schedules are all vital in fostering a high quality relationship. If the necessary commitment is made between the two groups, the result is a more resilient community and healthier food system.


All supplies for Cooking Crew are available at Restaurant Depot.


Cooking Crew is best implemented in a large open space with lots of tables.

May 03, 2015 | Category: cooking crew recipes | Comments: none